A Thank You from our Regional Director – South East
Despite being densely populated, the South East region remains highly wooded and rich in ancient woodland. Each year we work with volunteers to deliver high standards of woodland management for people and wildlife across 115 Woodland Trust sites covering approximately 3,300 hectares of woodland.
Volunteers started this year with spades in hand when over 550 members of the public supported our mass tree-planting day held at Langley Vale Wood in Epsom Downs, Surrey. In perfect tree-planting weather, many hands made light work and 10,500 young trees over 14 acres were planted. In spite of current restrictions on vehicle access, these events ran smoothly with a brilliant integrated team of volunteers and staff.
Throughout the year we aimed to ensure that you are supported, thanked and recognised in your roles. In all, we delivered five events for you all to enjoy. Wildlife monitoring was the training focus at Philipshill and Victory Woods, while growing networks and exploring interests were the aims when we visited Kew Gardens and Wakehurst Arboretum – these connections made even more special knowing that their seed banks now safely hold the seeds gathered by our volunteers! Joyden’s Wood kindly hosted our last event of the year when we celebrated the Tree Charter and shared experiences, memories and thoughts related to personal tree stories.
With your help we continue to entice more people to our woods through public and corporate volunteering events, yoga and photography sessions, and themed guided walks. Guided walk volunteers have led 12 walks in three different locations, sharing local knowledge and passion for each unique site in their care. Another memorable day at Joyden’s Wood was planting a pack of Queens Canopy Cover trees with an impressive turnout of volunteers and James Brokenshire MP.
The South East has just shy of 500 active volunteers in 31 different roles, some supporting national networks such as Observatree; while others are hands-on in our woods. We have also introduced new roles this year to support the outreach team in their work with private landowners, which will result in better-quality engagement with landowners and the general public.
Whatever your contribution, I’d like to say a huge thank you for your time, knowledge, energy and support – you really do make a difference. Our team and what we achieve together for trees and woods is richer and more diverse for having you with us.
We wish you a very happy and healthy winter break, and onwards and upwards into the woods in 2020!
Jenny Scholfield, Regional Director – South East